Despite the whirlwind of skepticism surrounding 3D TV and the persisting glut of real 3D content, it’s beginning to look like 3D TV is taking off – whether consumers are clamoring for it or not. According to the market research firm DisplaySearch, 3D TVs will account for 3.4 million of the TVs shipped this year, and 42.9 million by 2014.
Those numbers represent five percent and 37 percent of total shipments, respectively. DisplaySearch’s director of North American TV research, Paul Gagnon, compares the introduction to Samsung’s rollout of LED-backlit LCD sets back in 2009, but at a “slightly slower” pace. Although many manufacturers showed off 3D TVs at CES 2010, only Panasonic and Samsung managed to actually get their first models onto store shelves within the first half of the year.
According to DisplaySearch, key factors still inhibiting the 3D TV market include a relative paucity of 3D content, not to mention low penetration of the Blu-ray players needed to access much of it, and lingering consumer cynicism over wearing 3D glasses. A lack of “blockbuster” hits has also been a factor; Although Avatar drummed up some enthusiasm for 3D technology when it appeared in theaters, it still isn’t available on 3D Blu-ray, and won’t be within 2010.